What is Psychedelic Integration Therapy?

How to plan, prepare and understand your experience.

Psychedelic integration therapy aims to help you make sense of your psychedelic experiences. From planning and preparing for your experience, to deep-diving into the nuances of your ‘trip’, psychedelic integration therapy can help you live a life richer in meaning, purpose and self-understanding.

by Paul Jozsef

What is Psychedelic Therapy? - Paul Jozsef Counselling & Coaching | Montreal

Psychedelic therapy may seem like a novel psychological treatment, with research and scientific advancements appearing in the world’s media in recent times. However, the use of psychedelics to treat mental health and improve well-being has been used for millennia. In Montreal, Canada, psychedelics and psychedelic therapy have taken off, and various legal psychedelic communities have opened up to share experiences with others.

Scientifically speaking, pioneering psychiatrists showed that psychedelic drugs had therapeutic potential beginning in the 1950s. Between 1950 and 1965, around 40,000 patients were prescribed LSD therapy for a wide range of conditions, from addiction to autism. Taking psychedelics was even originally part of Alcoholics Anonymous as a 13th step to inspire spiritual experience and aid recovery.

However, the ‘war on drugs’ stopped all that. Research that was progressing rapidly was put to a complete halt when all psychedelics were made illegal. Until recently.

Now, psychedelic clinics are opening up around the world. Large-scale clinical trials repeatedly demonstrate that drugs such as ketamine, psilocybin (the psychedelic compound in ‘magic mushrooms), MDMA, LSD and even Ayahuasca have the potential to catalyze tremendous change and emotional healing. However, we have also learned from this research that it’s not all about the substance – it’s as much about what you do before and after taking the drug that can produce profound and lasting results.

Of course, psychedelic therapy isn’t a panacea. With the right ‘set and setting, the results we’re seeing coming out of the clinical trials are impressive.

Thanks to a range of mechanisms, including dramatically enhanced ‘neuroplasticity’ during and for a short while after taking psychedelics, the brain is better able to surmount ingrained habits (often set into motion by trauma) and find a new and improved pathway. When you take psychedelics, your mind is presented with new ways of perceiving the past, present and future – and this has the potential to be life-changing when paired with psychotherapy.

Without therapy, the benefits of psychedelics are short-lived. Your brain will return to how it was before having taken the drug. But with the help of integration therapy, both to prepare for the trip and after your experience, you can form new habits and ways of thinking that ‘stick’ in a meaningful way.

If you’re considering trying psychedelics to improve your mental health, it’s vital to seek help from an integration therapist to do so safely and effectively.

What is an Integration Therapist?

An integration therapist or integration coach is someone who is there to support and guide you through your transformation with psychedelics. Some integration therapists, like Paul Jozsef, are trained psychotherapists well-equipped to help you deal with any trauma that may arise as part of your healing process.

What is Psychedelic Integration?

Psychedelic integration is when you bring the teachings and insights after a psychedelic experience into ‘real life’ for lasting, therapeutic effects. This is done through both pre and post-trip therapy sessions to prepare you for the psychedelic experience and then utilize all you get from it.

Psychedelic Integration Therapy with Paul Jozsef: What to Expect

Taking psychedelics is often a challenging experience, particularly when you are doing so to heal from trauma or mental health issues. Having someone to guide you on dose, set and setting, harm reduction and then be there for you to talk through what has come up can help tremendously in preventing what might be considered a ‘bad trip,’ which is more often than not caused by anxiety.

Preparing for Your Psychedelic Experience

To best equip both you and Paul, you will meet before your trip (either in-person in Paul’s Montreal office or online) to talk through your concerns, traumas, conditions, and anything you feel is likely to arise. This way, Paul can offer you the best support once you have been through the psychedelic experience.

Set & Setting

‘Set and Setting’ are frequently talked about in the realm of psychedelics, with good reason. Getting yourself into the right mindset and ensuring you’re in the best possible environment when taking psychedelics can make all the difference to your experience. In your prep sessions, Paul will help get you into the right frame of mind and advise you on how to organize your surroundings for your trip.

Harm Reduction

Both points above are forms of harm reduction. Paul will help keep you safe during your psychedelic experience by advising on the best dosage and giving you all the tools you need to equip yourself mentally. He will also be there to support you in your sessions after your trip, which will help solidify the benefits and reduce any risk of feelings of detachment or confusion.

Dosage

There is a wide range of psychedelic drugs you might be interested in taking therapeutically. However, thanks to years of prohibition, it can be tricky to figure out what dose is best for you to take. Talking to Paul about this will help you feel and stay safe. Some drugs, like psilocybin and LSD, have a low risk of toxicity. However, the dose you take will determine your trip’s intensity. Other drugs, such as Ketamine and MDMA, have a higher risk, so it’s even more important to feel comfortable about dosing before experimenting.

Integration

Finally, after your trip, you will meet with Paul online or in-person to use that enhanced neuroplasticity to create new neural pathways and establish healthy habits. This should ideally begin no later than 24-48 hours post-trip for the best results and continue regularly until you feel it is appropriate. Psychedelics can be excellent catalysts for healing, but it’s the work that comes after, which yields the incredible results we’re seeing in clinical trials. And it is work. There will likely be challenging things that come up for you and much processing to be done. But with Paul’s help, it could be wholly transformative.

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